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Review – Sin, salvation and Shadowmancer – G.P. Taylor – Zondervan

June 2007 | by Richard Atherton
Sin, salvation and Shadowmancer
G. P. Taylor
256 pages; £12.99
ISBN: 0-310-26739-0

Graham Taylor shot to fame in 2003 with his first novel Shadowmancer, a Gothic fantasy set in the eighteenth century on the North Yorkshire coast, in which Christian themes are woven into a powerful story of good and evil. Shadowmancer was released on the same day as a new ‘Harry Potter’ story – and knocked it off the top spot in the bestseller lists for weeks. So who is this man, who for a time was ‘hotter than Potter’?

Sin, salvation and Shadowmancer reads as an honest account of one pilgrim’s progress – from an unhappy childhood and turbulent teens in Scarborough to crazy times in London working for a pop music company and indulging in all the usual excesses.

Taylor then returns home as a prodigal son and begins a new life in Scarborough. Friendship with a Christian couple leads to his conversion, and he meets and marries Kathy. He then becomes an Anglican minister.

This is a typical ‘rags to riches’ account but I was impressed by the honesty with which Taylor describes his struggles and his weaknesses. He describes himself as a sinful man who by the grace of God has found salvation, and who is very much a ‘work in progress’.

This book is a ghost-written autobiography (Bob Smietana is a journalist from Illinois of Reformed persuasion) and is an absorbing read from start to finish.

Graham Taylor presently divides his time between writing and touring schools – promoting reading and writing to a largely non-reading teenage generation. It will be interesting to follow this pilgrim’s future progress.

Richard Atherton